P E M AME K C U S TO MER MAGA ZINE 2020
Join the world of welding automation
Revolutionizing nozzle welding
Shipyard of the future
Boosting wind tower manufacturing 1
PEMAMEK C USTOMER MAGAZINE 2020
50th anniversary................................... Briefly..................................................... Technology............................................
“The strength of PEMA Service is the team”..............................................................34
Teamwork as the thriving force......................35
Revolutionizing nozzle welding.........................6 Complete welding automation solutions - Easy programming, maximized profit.............10
Customer success stories..............
PEMA News digital edition available at issuu.com/pemawelding
pemamek.com Cover photo: PEMA robotic welding solution.
Shipyard of the future.........................................14 Better capacity to trailer frame welding.....20 Increasing welding automation, one step at a time....................................................................23 Better productivity and safety for a steel wind tower manufacturer TEN.......................26 Long-term client Estanc relies on PEMA solutions...................................................................30
Pemamek is founded. First PEMA positioner.
Pemamek starts developing automation and robotic solutions.
Automation becomes Pemamek’s core business.
The current family-ownership is established.
Despite the global economical depression, Pemamek gains international growth.
50TH ANNIVERSARY The year 2020 is important for Pemamek as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. The significant milestone symbolizes determination and long-term goals. Pemamek’s story started in 1970 in a small village nearby Loimaa. A few years later the company was already providing production solutions nationwide, including welding positioners and columns & booms. In the late ’80s, the Heikonen family bought the operations from AmerYhtymä. As a former employee and member of the management, Pekka Heikonen recognized Pemamek’s international potential and harnessed the company for global markets. To this date, Pemamek is on that growth path. During the past decades, Pemamek has expanded internationally having an export rate of over 90% and worldwide sales and service networks. The company employs 250 people and provides world-leading welding automation to six customer sectors. Throughout the years, the recipe for Pemamek’s continued success has been a combination of customer-oriented mindset, passion for R&D, the courage to invest, great teamwork, and agility. Like the beginning of 2020 and the global pandemic taught us, we cannot ever be certain what the future holds for us. The best way to be prepared is to develop an organization that is capable to adapt to changes fast. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary we want to highlight the long-lasting customer and partner relations we have built, but also the accomplishments that have given us the power to grow. Pemamek’s roots and its story provide the best foundation for the company’s future operations and its professionals.
Join us at celebrating half a century of global excellence!
Juha Mäkitalo, CEO Pemamek Ltd
Big investments in a greenfield factory.
New generation to the management.
S i g n i f i c a n t
Pemamek has doubled its revenue and employs now over 200 people.
Investments in global operations and growing international network.
Pemamek celebrates 50th anniversary.
Factory facilities are doubled.
BRIEFLY Pemamek delivers to Taiwanese offshore markets Two PEMA production automation lines were delivered to CSBC Corporation in Taiwan. The production automation lines, designed for foundation pin pile production, will boost the customer’s manufacturing capacity and endproduct quality. Leo Chen, Executive Vice President for CSBC Corporation, commented: “We are glad to cooperate with experienced production solution provider for the wind energy sector. This investment will reinforce CSBC’s position as the key player in the Taiwanese offshore wind energy markets and support the company to take a major leap towards future goals.” Additionally, Rong Sheng Engineering Co. Ltd., a Taiwanese enterprise in the structural steel construction industry, has entered the offshore wind energy market and invested in PEMA assembly and welding solutions for producing jacket leg and pin-pile sub-assemblies
as well as any thick wall tubular products. Longitudinal and circular welding Column & Booms with latest PEMA WeldControl 500 technology and state-of-the-art laser tracking system enables high-level automatization in multi-pass welding. Assembly solution includes two different stations: one for small diameter thick wall structures, like jacket legs, and other for bigger diameters up to 4,5 meters. The smooth integration of these PEMA solutions enables the operator to assemble and weld in the same station, boosting the company’s productivity and maximizing the capacity in the growing wind energy industry. “Investing in PEMA solutions has given us cutting edge technology that is capable of producing components for high-quality standards that are necessary in offshore wind foundations. We are very pleased with our cooperation with Pemamek and how PEMA products have increased our competitiveness”, says Mr. Shi Wei Chou, the CEO of Rong Sheng Machine Engineering Co. Ltd. Photo: Rong Sheng Engineering Co. Ltd
40 years of sales partnership in Argentina “Trust, innovation, and close friend,” said Juan Cáceres Diaz, PEMA Sales partner in Argentina since 1980, when asked to describe the cooperation with Pemamek. Cáceres Diaz knows Pemamek and its products well as he has been boosting PEMA sales on the west coast of the Atlantic ocean already for 40 years. The work has paid off resulting in a strong presence in the area. Currently, there’s a big number of PEMA positioners and roller beds, as well as welding column & booms and assembly stations for tubular structures, in Argentina.
“Everyone in Argentina knows Pemamek and the PEMA brand. There is no other company that has the same level of technology as Pemamek. PEMA welding automation technology is number 1 in the world,” said Cáceres Diaz. According to Cáceres Diaz, since the beginning, collaboration has been strong and efficient. Despite the distance, communication has been easy and open which has enabled a firm foundation for a great partnership. “The reason why I like to cooperate with Pemamek is that the company has a big heart. It is easy to work with PEMA people. For Pemamek there are no limits. The future looks promising,“ summarizes Cáceres Diaz.
PEMA VRWP-C, a new generation compact robot solution PEMA VRWP-C, a compact vision robot portal, enables efficient start for robotic welding. PEMA VRWP-C is a robotic solution designed specifically for micro panel welding and it is optimal for flat micro panel stiffeners and T’s up to 500 millimeters (20 inches). Besides shipbuilding, the robotic solution is applicable to other industries as well. Thanks to its compact and modular construction, the smart welding solution is fast to install and commission on site and requires minimum civil work. The solution has a working width of five meters (16 feet), and the length of the working area is expandable in six-meter modules. With PEMA VRWP-C, there exists no need for CAD-files: all welding paths can be processed automatically according to operator’s scanned images of the product and PEMA WeldControl 200 VISION programming software. The solution increases productivity up to 400%, as one robot replaces approximately four manual welders.
LSO process – Highproductivity SAW welding As an ongoing initiative, Pemamek does constant R&D on new efficient welding methods that can be integrated into its automation solutions. One of the new foundings is the long stick-out process, LSO. LSO process is a modern method to increase productivity in submerged arc welding. The LSO process can be used to replace tandem-twin or triple arc processes. The new method is based on a physical principle which, by pre-heating the wire, improves the fusion of the filler metal and increases the deposit rate without changing the welding current or the travel speed. The process is a simple way to increase welding productivity, save time and minimize flux usage and thus decrease welding costs. Pemamek is currently collaborating with Lincoln Electric to utilize the LSO process also for the semi-narrow gap.
Induction preheating enables high speed welding and minimizes angular deformations One of Pemamek’s latest R&D outcomes is induction preheating, a development that optimizes the circumstances for fillet welding. Pemamek’s induction preheating is controlled by an in-house developed software system, PEMA Heat Control. The system calculates the optimal induction power depending on the variables of the workpiece and adjusts the values suitable for induction preheating. Induction preheating is mainly used in MAG and tandem-MAG processes for T-beam and stiffener fillet welding. The panel and the flange are being preheated from underneath to compensate angular deformations. During the welding process of T-beam, induction is also preheating the web on both sides to compensate the longitudinal bending of the T-beam, allowing it to maintain straight. According to Jari Tervolin, PEMA welding engineer, induction preheating enables high speed welding, smooth process, lengthened cooling time of the weld, minimum angular deformations and therefore straight panels and T-beams.
REVOLUTIONIZING NOZZLE WELDING Automated welding of pressure vessel nozzle connections increases the efficiency, reliability, and quality of the end-product.
Optical laser sensor and intelligent software enable high-quality adaptive welding.
The need for welding automation rises as several heavy fabrication industries are trying to combat the shortage of skilled welders. To minimize the effects of welder shortage, companies are required to automize certain processes in their manufacturing or even the entire production chain.
â€?Data of the scanned groove is processed and presented to the operator in the inhouse developed and easy-to-use software.â€?
One of the industries that the shortage has hit is pressure vessel manufacturing. The process is demanding, and certain production phases, such as welding nozzle connections, require extremely good welding skills. By automating nozzle welding, the quality and reliability of the nozzle connection welding are raised significantly. This results in a highly improved efficiency of the manufacturing process. When the goal is to modernize the entire pressure vessel production process, Pemamek provides a wide selection of solutions for each phase. In addition to the PEMA Nozzle welding station, PEMA Assembly and Welding stations, roller beds, positioners, and welding columns & booms meet the highest capacity demands of pressure vessel manufacturing.
The basics for efficient automation For the automated and robotized welding to provide maximized benefits, it is required that other processes connected to welding work efficiently and are based on high-quality processes. As an example, it is crucial that weld preparations are at a certain level for automated welding to bring the desired results. The better the preparations are, the more productive welding automation is.
Holes for nozzle connections are recommended to be done with an automated process in order to maintain dimensional changes in the bevel as minimal as possible. Fitting and assembly of the nozzle to the hole needs to be done with care so that the end product will comply with the requirements. PEMA Nozzle welding station with adaptive welding and intelligent PEMA WeldControl 300 SCAN software is designed to overcome the changes in the weld groove caused in the groove preparation or assembly phase. Usually, the nozzle connections are required to be full penetration welds. Manual welding is required for root pass so that high-quality root pass can be achieved. Robotized root pass welding would require very high accuracy in the preparation phase which in most cases is not technically or commercially feasible considering the whole production. After the root pass is manually welded, the robot welds fill and cap passes. Using robot welding for these phases is the most cost-effective solution as the most welding volume is in the fill and cap passes.
Adaptive welding equals high quality and reliability Modern automation and robot welding technology is very adaptive to the variations in the welding groove. The robot adapts to the changes in the groove which enables correct filling and usage of optimized welding parameters. In other words adaptive welding makes it possible for the robot to adjust its movements and control the welding equipment in a manner that will result in successful welding. And successful welding can be done to welds that are not exactly as they are designed in the drawings due to manufacturing or assembly tolerances. Main components that are making adaptive welding possible in the PEMA Nozzle welding station are optical laser sensor and intelligent software. Optical laser sensor is used to measure the weld groove and provide data to the control software. Data of the scanned groove is processed and presented to the operator in the in-house developed and easy-to-use software. By implementing sensors and advanced control softwares welding robots can be raised to the next level of intelligence.
About the author: Jyri Luhtio Application Manager, Offshore and Process Equipment Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org After working seven years at Pemamek, Jyri has gained extensive expertise in designing optimized welding and production solutions for the global offshore and process equipment manufacturing. Jyri’s Top skills: • Technical solution selling • Solution engineering • Analytical problem-solving
The scale that the welding speed and weaving parameters can be adjusted depends on factors, such as welded material and heat input limits. Before starting actual production, welding tests needs to be done to get validation of process
Groove area 550 mm²
Groove area 716 mm²
Groove area 610 mm²
Scanning of the weld groove enables adabtive welding. Same amount of weld passes even if the groove volume changes during welding.
for different materials, consumables and welding preparations. Continuous development is done at the PEMA Process Center where different welding processes for various applications are tested regularly. Additionally, the welding process support with the same welding equipment as in the nozzle welding station can be offered to our customers. Currently, Pemamekâ€™s station is equipped with a single wire GMAW process, but other welding processes, used widely in the process industry, are under development and process test list.
Intelligent programming and control system The core philosophy of welding automation is that it transforms skilled welders to operators who manage the robotic welding station. One of the many responsibilities of the operator is to prepare the upcoming workpiece as the robot is still completing the previous work cycle. When the workpiece is brought inside the robot working area and operators are outside of the robot safety zone, programming of the laser scanning paths is started. With PEMA WeldControl 300 OFFLINE software operator programs the scanning paths to the locations of the nozzle connections with just a few mouse clicks. After the robot has finished an automated scanning work cycle, the data of the scanned groove is presented in PEMA WeldControl 300 SCAN software. The operator can utilize the library of the existing weld pass sequences for the scanned groove or create a new weld pass sequence, which can be saved in the library and applied in the future to similar connections. In the SCAN software, every single weld pass in the sequence is adapted to the scanned groove automatically by the software. Operator can do modifications for the parameters or the weld pass sequence if needed. Fine tuning of the parameters is the point where the special skills and knowledge of the welder are needed. While the robot is welding, programming can be done in either one of OFFLINE or SCAN software. This enables the robot to be utilized more in actual welding rather than path programming or for example online teaching.
For shell diameters up to 3500 mm Pemamek offers two standard-sized solutions for pressure vessels, which dimensionsâ€™ cover most of the current market needs. During summer 2020, PEMA Nozzle welding station for shell diameters under 2000 mm, is available for the audience at the Pemamekâ€™s factory. The showcase enables visitors to see more accurately the technical features and advancements of the station. For customers with the heavier and larger diameter workpieces, Pemamek has developed also a bigger standard station that is for up to 3500 mm shell diameters.
Adaptivity of the robot enables correct filling and usage of optimized welding parameters.
After the root pass is manually welded, the robot welds fill and cap passes.
Data of the scanned groove is processed and presented to the operator in the in-house developed and easy-to-use software.
Complete PEMA Nozzle welding station.
Easy programming, maximized profit
COMPLETE WELDING AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS Tough competition in the heavy fabrication industry forces companies to continuously rethink their production and implement new techniques to boost competitiveness. Robotic welding solutions respond to rapidly developing market demands, bring more productivity, and enable dynamic manufacturing.
Robotic welding ensures maximum efficiency even in high-mix low-volume production.
During the last decade, investing in a complete robotic welding solution has become more common within the heavy fabrication industry. There are various reasons behind the increasing interest in robotic welding, such as flexibility, better capacity, and user-friendly programming. These benefits ensure maximum efficiency even in high-mix low-volume production. Whether we are talking about one-off production or mass production, the anatomy of a robotic welding solution typically includes the same elements: handling equipment, half portal (with one to three linear axis), a software system for programming, and control system to manage the welding station. The control system includes features, such as welding process analysis, safety alarms, and machine life-cycle notifications.
About the author: Teemu Rusi
Each unit of the complete solution, such as handling equipment, welding process or the software system used, is analyzed and selected according to production requirements and customer needs.
Robotic Manager, Automation and Robotics
Modular handling solutions
15 years of experience from production automation in different industry sectors globally. Teemu has strong skills in industrial robotics whether if it’s programming, offline programming, simulation or layout design.
Efficient, precise and reliable handling equipment is the foundation for highquality robotic welding. When the robotic welding cell includes an external axis and a workpiece positioner, the cell can be optimized to match with both current as well as future needs in the production. The reachability and weldability can be simulated beforehand, thanks to 3D-modeling and simulation software. If there is a need for changing the geometries in the workpiece for better reachability or weldability - so the robot can do its job - it can be done well ahead of time.
Teemu’s Top skills: • Sales-oriented mindset • Designing complete robotic solutions • Manufacturing process evaluation design
5 steps towards a successful implementation of robotic welding solution: 1. Thorough pre-design together with the supplier and purchaser. 2. Possible design changes in the products for example changing groove geometry or groove preparation method. 3. Welding process evaluation and modification into robotic welding. 4. Tailored and thorough training for all the participants. 5. Good level of maintenance and follow up together with the supplier.
The right fit for high-mix low-volume production High-mix low-volume production, which refers to the manufacturing of variety of products in smaller quantities, is becoming more common due to its ability to adapt to specific customer demands and productional changes. Enabled by robotic welding solutions, profitable high-mix low-volume production is one of the greatest advancements in welding automation. The features that make robotic solutions a perfect match for high-mix, lowvolume production are the modern features that enable flexible production, but also modularity. Advanced robotic solutions with efficient offline programming and thorough simulation of dimensions can be optimized to oneâ€™s production and furthermore, they are easy to control.
Easy programming with PEMA WeldControl 300
â€?Designed and developed in-house, PEMA WeldControl 300 is one of the most advanced robot programming systems available in the markets.â€?
Robotic welding enables high-quality results and increases productivity. What sometimes makes companies hesitant to start, is the thought that programming and controlling a robot would be challenging and complex. Designed and developed in-house, PEMA WeldControl 300 is one of the most advanced robot programming systems available in the markets. The software family is designed to meet the needs of heavy welding automation; it is fast, Solutions can be utilized 24/7, 8760 hours a year.
Each unit of a complete welding solution is analysed and selected according to production requirements and customer needs.
efficient, and can be applied to almost any production. With its three different software levels, OFFLINE, CREATE and SCAN, even programming one-off production can be completed rapidly without any manufacturing interruptions. Modern features, such as automatically-generated welding paths, visual multilayer tools, mirror, and copy features, make programming easy and efficient, enabling the welder to become the operator. PEMA WeldControl 300 OFFLINE -software is based on 3D-CAD-based offline programming. It enables programming of the next workpiece, while simultaneously welding another one, which results up to 10 times faster programming compared to online programming solutions. Above all, the software is designed to be easy to use, functional and fast.
Benefits of complete solutions: - Reliable pre-analysis: Virtual modelling of the robotic solution with 3D and simulation - Typically reached automation rate 50-80% - Deposit rates up to 9 kg per automatic program running hour with only one MIG/MAG torch - The solution can be utilized 24/7 and 8760h/year
PEMA customer Ingalls Shipbuilding
LOCATION Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA
CUSTOMER SEGMENT Shipbuilding
Ingalls Shipbuilding has become the largest private manufacturing employer in the state of Mississippi. Currently, the shipyard covers 800 acres and employs 11,500 people.
MAKE MORE - TOGETHER CHALLENGE
Modernize processes, minimize distortion with thin materials.
PEMA Panel line for thin materials (2015), PEMA Bulkhead production line (2018).
Streamlined and more efficient workflow with enhanced production quality.
Customer success stories
PEMA automation supports Ingalls’s transformation
SHIPYARD OF THE FUTURE As a part of the “Shipyard of the Future” initiative, Ingalls Shipbuilding made extensive investments in modern PEMA shipbuilding automation. As a result, the shipyard’s manufacturing processes have become leaner, more efficient and consistent. Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of renowned Huntington Ingalls Industries, is an American shipbuilder that has built nearly 70% of the U.S. Navy surface fleet of warships. The shipyard, being in the business for 81 years, has become the largest private manufacturing employer in the state of Mississippi as well as a major contributor to the economic growth of the state of Alabama. Currently, the shipyard covers 800 acres and employs 11,500 people. “Ingalls Shipbuilding is one of the two major shipyards within the corporation. The company is massive and you could easily meet a new person every day. The great thing is that in the company there are a lot of opportunities to grow and develop. I’ve worked here for 15 years now,” tells Kevin Roossinck, Manager of Welding Engineering, Ingalls Shipbuilding. Specializing in military ships, Ingalls Shipbuilding has pioneered the development and production of technologically advanced, highly capable warships. They produce ships for the surface Navy fleet, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, as well as foreign and commercial purchasers.
”We wanted to modernize our processes and take advantage of technological developments that had been made in automating high mix, low volume products specifically.”
“We have delivered 31 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers for the U.S. Navy and have now four more under construction. Additionally, we provide the U.S. Navy with San Antonio-class LPDs and have delivered two LHA 6 class ships. A third LHA 6 class ship is currently under construction,” describes Roossinck.
Future of shipbuilding Early 2014 Ingalls launched its extensive “Shipyard of the Future” initiative. The shipyard carefully analyzed shipbuilding needs for the future, how Ingalls matched with those demands and in which the shipyard could improve. Then, the initiative was divided into three areas: people, shipyard facilities, and shipbuilding processes. Roossinck adds, “We wanted to modernize our processes and take advantage of technological developments that had been made in automating high mix, low volume products specifically.”
”Pemamek’s team was able to articulate some of the issues that we had been through with our existing panel line.”
Kevin Roossinck, Manager of Welding Engineering, has worked at Ingalls Shipbuilding for 15 years.
One of the challenges for future shipbuilders is lighter weight materials. The usage of thin panels constantly increases because it provides better performance with lower fuel consumption, faster speed, and agility for the ships. Roossinck continues, “As we have been moving to stronger and thinner steel construction, distortion prevention became a big concern. We wanted to utilize new technology to implement welding processes that would leave us with a finished product significantly flatter and less distorted.“
Leaner, more efficient and consistent
The new thin plate panel line uses the laserhybrid arc welding (LHAW) process combined with tandem MAG, which is capable of welding plates up to 60 ft long and starting from thicknesses as low as 4 mm.
Originally Ingalls had a panel line with mechanized equipment that was better suited for welding thicker materials. Additionally, the one side welding station on the line was not capable of producing full penetration welds from a single side due to joint variation. As a result, Ingalls replaced the one side welding station and added an entirely new production line targeted towards thin panel construction. “Early 2014 we had our first conversation with Pemamek, and right from the start, we were quite impressed. Pemamek’s team was able to articulate some of the issues that we had been through with our existing panel line,” Roossinck continues.
The collaboration started in 2015 when Pemamek won the contract to design and engineer the new panel line. By 2017, Pemamek began its delivery and installation of a state-of-art plate lengthening line, designed to feed two complete modern flat-panel lines simultaneously. The new thin panel line uses the laser-hybrid arc welding (LHAW) process combined with tandem MAG, which is capable of welding plates up to 60 ft and starting from thicknesses as low as 4 mm. “We installed a complete panel line including an automated PEMA hybrid laser one side welding station and two gantries with four robots each. We also replaced our existing SAWOSW with a new integrated PEMA milling OSW.” In the LHAW panel line, one of the advanced features is a fully automated robotized welding station for entire panel stiffening. The solution includes multiple robots utilizing Pemamek’s hi-tech programming and control software, PEMA WeldControl 200. In 2018 Ingalls decided to invest in additional PEMA shipbuilding automation and the PEMA Bulkhead production line was ordered. The solution consists of integrated milling and laser-hybrid one-sided welding station, profile and T-beam assembling and tack-welding solutions, as well as two robotized welding portals both of which include two robots and special conveyor solutions. The automation solutions will be installed and commissioned in late 2020. Roossinck continues, “The result of PEMA solutions has been a significant improvement in performance from a distortion standpoint and improved consistencies of individual processes within the production flow. We have become leaner, more efficient and more consistent with the quality and flow of our panels through the shop.” At Ingalls Shipbuilding the PEMA automation lines have resulted in a raised level of automation, enhanced production quality, and improved workflow.
The trust factor By acquiring modern production automation technology, Ingalls transformed a lot of its manufacturing processes. Production phases that used to be done manually are now done by the machine. As a result, welders who before were doing the manual work are now operating the large machines. According to Roossinck, a successful adaption requires “on-the-job” training and support from the supplier, but also employees need to learn to trust the technology.
”As much as 68% better than the shipyard’s baseline performance.”
“We had to learn to become more computer-based and rely on technology and models to do most of the work for us. There is a trust factor there and it takes some time for employees who are used to doing everything by hand themselves to turn most of the labor over to a computer or machine,” Roossinck remarked. To help smooth the transition from manual labor to automation, Roossinck emphasizes early and open communication between suppliers and the customer’s production team. Roossinck adds, “Communication upfront with the production team is important to prepare them for how PEMA equipment is going to change the way they do their job.”
In the LHAW panel line, one of the advanced features is a fully automated robotized welding station for entire panel stiffening.
Efficiency from start to finish At Ingalls Shipbuilding the PEMA automation lines have resulted in a raised level of automation, enhanced production quality, and improved workflow. “The line allows us to split our panel production between thick and thin material, which has streamlined the flow of panels through the shop. The overall production is much faster because we have more than doubled our capability to build panels by adding a line of equipment that is more efficient than the existing production line it compliments, “ Roossinck tells. As a result of the modern welding automation and streamlined production, Ingalls has noticed significant improvements in the distortion data, as much as 68% better than the shipyard’s baseline performance. “The PEMA equipment has helped us break through where we thought the bottlenecks would be and the result is a more efficient line from start to finish. We have fundamentally changed the order in which we produce panels. Pemamek’s flexibility and customization of equipment allowed us to do that,” summarizes Roossinck.
“We had to learn to become more computerbased and rely on technology and models to do most of the work for us.”-Kevin Roossinck, Manager of Welding Engineering, Ingalls Shipbuilding
BETTER CAPACITY TO TRAILER FRAME WELDING PEMA customer VAK
CUSTOMER SEGMENT Heavy equipment
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Increase efficiency in trailer frame welding.
PEMA Robotic welding station with PEMA WeldControl 300 OFFLINE programming.
High production capacity, optimized workflow, and improved factory layout.
Transportation equipment manufacturer VAK invested in PEMA robotic welding solutions. The investment brought significant benefits throughout the process. VAK Oy is a Finnish family-owned business and specializes in providing transport equipment solutions for the Northern European highways. Located in the Southwest of Finland, the company employs over 500 people and has a subsidiary in Sweden. As a growing and future-oriented company, VAK constantly fine-tunes its operation methods and processes. “In our operations, the guiding factor is high-quality products. In addition to the quality of products, we also focus on developing the quality of operations and procurements,” describes VAK’s Sales director and Board member, Matti Virtanen. As one of the main manufacturers of transportation equipment for the Nordic countries, VAK provides a wide selection of heavy-duty structures for the industry. “We design and manufacture structures, such as trailers, cargo compartments, and demountable bodies for the transportation industry,” describes Virtanen.
From manual welding to robotized For VAK, one of the biggest product groups is trailer frames. The yearly volume is around 500. The size of one frame can be as much as 17,5 meters long and 2,5 meters wide. A few years ago, the assembly welding of the trailer frames was done completely manually. As the incoming orders started to gradually grow and advanced manufacturing technologies to evolve, VAK decided that it was time to invest in a better capacity and more efficient production flow. “The assembly welding was before done manually and this was one of the phases that we saw an opportunity for optimization.” Virtanen continues, “The main reasons why we started to consider automatized robotic welding was to improve process efficiency and above all to invest in our future capacity,” comments Virtanen. To optimize the assembly welding of trailer frames, VAK ordered a comprehensive PEMA robotic welding station. The robotic welding station included XYZ- gantry, one welding robot, and two headstock positioners with two manually adjustable supporting units. As a programming method, the station uses PEMA WeldControl 300 OFFLINE software.
Benefits throughout the process The station was delivered in 2018 and ever since VAK has been able to enjoy the benefits from robotic welding. “The production goals that we set for the robotic welding station, have been accomplished and our production is now significantly more efficient. The station has brought several benefits to us,” said Virtanen. VAK acquired PEMA Robotic welding station to boost trailer frame welding. The station, with PEMA WeldControl 300 OFFLINE, has made the production significantly more efficient.
In addition to improved welding efficiency, the benefits are visible in other production phases as well. After implementing welding automation, VAK has gotten a better understanding of their trailer frame production and increase predictability. “Throughput, planning, and scheduling of our production are working now a lot better. Automated welding requires the designing to pay more attention to details, so our 3D models have also improved. Additionally, we’ve been able to develop our product modularity,” lists Virtanen. Thanks to the robotic welding station, the factory layout has improved as well. Virtanen comments, “The existing square meters in the factory were optimized at the same time and now all the space is in better use.”
Key to successful start-up At VAK, the ramp-up and adaptation phases went well and production was started efficiently. Some of the main factors for a good implementation Virtanen mentions early and all-rounded training.
“The production goals that we set for the robotic welding station, have been accomplished and our production is now significantly more efficient. The station has brought several benefits to us.”
“If the personnel is well trained for the new methodologies, the ramp-up time is significantly faster. Together with Pemamek’s support, our motivated and fastlearning production team was able to pick up the new welding technologies quickly,” says Virtanen. Positive experiences as a foundation, the company does see the role of welding automation to grow and at some point is ready to harness further automation in its production. “We are very happy with our collaboration with Pemamek. It was easy to reach Pemamek and the team actively and genuinely wanted to help us. Automation does bring benefits and we think that in the future we will also acquire more when time is right,” summarizes Virtanen.
As a programming method, the station uses PEMA WeldControl 300 OFFLINE software.
PEMA customer Istrail
Customer success stories
INCREASING WELDING AUTOMATION, ONE STEP AT A TIME
CUSTOMER SEGMENT Heavy equipment
Trusted manufacturer of transportation structures for the construction and mining industry, Istrail Sp zoo, invested in its first PEMA Robotic welding station in 2014. After noticing significant benefits and improvements in production, the company put in an order for the second one. Istrail Sp zoo, a subsidiary of the Norwegian Istrail Group, is specialized in manufacturing high-quality structures for the construction and mining transportation industry. The roots of the company are deep in the soil of Norway where Istrail has its sales and service. Istrail’s main markets are Scandinavia, Russia, and Germany. From the company’s yearly production, about half are dumper bodies and the other half are trailers. The production is located in a modern factory in Poland, in the town of Golub-Dobrzyn. In 2014 Istrail started to research ways to increase efficiency in some of the production phases and considered starting with welding automation. In 2015 the PEMA Robot welding station for dumper bodies was delivered to Istrail’s factory, which was the company’s first investment in automation.
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”Automation makes the job easier – also for the welders. This is why I believe that the role of the welding automation grows.” -Leif Skipenes, President of Istrail Sp zoo.
Increase efficiency in dumper body production.
PEMA Robotic welding station with PEMA WeldControl 300 OFFLINE.
Better capacity, high welding quality, improved working environment.
“We wanted to optimize the production phases that were manually most demanding, challenging, and time-consuming. Before investing in PEMA robotic welding, we welded everything manually,” tells Leif Skipenes, President of Istrail Sp zoo.
Complete solution to weld dumper bodies Istrail’s yearly volume of dumper bodies is around 500. The size of a typical dumper is up to 10 meters long and 2,75 meters wide. One dumper can weigh as much as 8 tons. “We manufacture very large and heavy structures. The PEMA Robotic welding station makes it more efficient and safer to manufacture heavy and dimensionally large dumpers,” Skipenes describes. The delivered PEMA Robot welding station with Single MAG welding process included the XYZ floor track gantry system, two production cells that both have PEMA Headstock and a manually adjustable support unit. The robot is programmed with PEMA WeldControl 300 OFFLINE. The two cells are operated with CellControl 700 which enables an unmanned production with the robotic system. According to Skipenes, one of the main factors impacting Istrail’s decision to invest in PEMA Robotic solution were turn-key delivery and modern programming system, “We did a study and it turned out that Pemamek’s offline programming tool was the most userfriendly software to use. Additionally, for us, it was important to get all services from designing to production support from one supplier. These were a few of the reasons why we selected Pemamek.”
Fast adaptation, significant benefits Since Istrail did not have much previous experience in robotic welding, the company was not sure how the start of the production would go and how fast the start-up would be. “When acquiring new technology, you cannot be fully sure how the implementation goes and how the production team adapts the new technology to their routines. For us, it came as a positive surprise on how fast we were able to start with the station. We received extremely good support from Pemamek, which has very creative and solution-oriented professionals.” The PEMA Robotic welding station has been in full production for five years now. Istrail has been able to increase its production output and improve welding quality but also noticed improvements in the working environment. “The robotic station has made our heavy-duty production a lot more efficient. Also, it has improved our environment in the factory, such as decreased smoke and loud noises, and of course, improved overall working ergonomics,” describes Skipenes.
”The robotic station has made our heavyduty production a lot more efficient.”
New robot station delivery in 2020
The PEMA robotic welding station has made Istrail’s heavy-duty production a lot more efficient.
When asked about the future and role of welding automation, Skipenes thinks that the steel industry is gearing up for automation, and Istrail, based on their previous experiences, follows that trend. Skipenes comments, “Automation makes the job easier - also for the welders. This is why I believe that the role of the welding automation grows.” Istrail has already set its eyes on the future and plans to increase the level of automation in its factory one step at a time. The second robotic welding solution is already in the pipeline. “Our next PEMA Robotic welding station, which will be delivered in spring 2020, will be a bit bigger than the one we have now. The station brings us significant advantages and enables us to expand even more the variety of our largest heavy steel constructions. We are really looking forward to that,” summarizes Skipenes.
Customer success stories
BETTER PRODUCTIVITY AND SAFETY FOR A STEEL WIND TOWER MANUFACTURER TEN PEMA customer Torres Eรณlicas do Nordeste, TEN
CUSTOMER SEGMENT Wind energy
MAKE MORE - TOGETHER CHALLENGE
TEN looks to decrease the amount of manual work and become a top steel tower manufacturer in the nation.
12 PEMA Assembly stations, integrated with six PEMA HD Column&Booms. PEMA Flange Fitting station.
Increase in productivity, less manual work and highly improved safety-atwork.
Torres Eólicas do Nordeste is a Brazilian company that specializes in the manufacturing of metal towers for wind power production. To the company, safetyat-work is a core value and one of the main reasons TEN has implemented PEMA solutions into their manufacturing processes since the establishment of their company. Torres Eólicas do Nordeste, TEN, is located near the main wind tower projects in the state of Bahia, within a region that covers over 80% of Brazil’s wind farms. The company was established in 2015, and its mission is to become a top steel tower manufacturer in Brazil. Pemamek has been a part of the company’s journey since the beginning, as TEN paid a visit to Pemamek’s premises in Loimaa, Finland already a year before opening their facilities. “We have relied on Pemamek since the very early days: we paid a visit to Finland about a year before TEN was established. We were really satisfied with the solutions we saw and received our first order of PEMA solutions already in 2014 “, tells Mr. Roberto Padula, Manager of Operations at TEN.
Reliable PEMA solutions since the early days The first delivery from Pemamek included altogether 12 PEMA Assembly stations to guarantee flawless workpieces and excellent safety. The assembly stations are integrated with six PEMA Column&Booms, varying from PEMA HD 6x4 to PEMA HD 6x7,5. PEMA Heavy-Duty (HD) series is designed for demanding welding automation purposes and enables high-quality production.
“Our productivity is faster, yet the most significant changes happened in the safety of our operations.”
“Our principles include more productivity, more safety and less manual work. We found PEMA solutions to bring all these benefits to our manufacturing – investing in reliable solutions right from the beginning of our journey was important to us. With PEMA solutions, we have been able to automatize processes which results in better quality and productivity”, explains Padula.
PEMA Flange Fitting station improves both productivity and safety Pleased with PEMA solutions and the cooperation, TEN decided to take another step towards better productivity in 2019 and invest in PEMA Flange Fitting station. PEMA Flange Fitting station (PEMA FF station) enables fast, safe and accurate fitting and welding of flanges to the wind tower and tower foundation sections. With PEMA FF station, flange fitting is possible without turning the shell, and cranes can be released to other tasks.
”We highly value our close cooperation with Pemamek. It is difficult to imagine how it would be like, to work without PEMA.”
“Pemamek’s solution for handling flange fitting helps us to optimize the use of floor space and simplify our production. With PEMA Flange Fitting station, we have achieved significant reduction in process times and with this, our return on investment will be fast”, tells Mr. Carlos Konopatzki, General Manager at TEN. In addition to better productivity, both Mr. Padula and Mr. Konopatzki emphasize the improvements in one of the company’s core values – safety. Having a safe working environment is a prominent concern for TEN as the company takes pride in meeting all strict safety requirements; “Our productivity is faster, yet the most significant changes happened in the safety of our operations,” says Mr. Padula and Mr. Konopatzki agrees: “With PEMA Flange Fitting station, the need for overhead cranes in minimized and moreover, the safety of the overall process improves – benefit that we cannot put a price tag on.”
“Pemamek is always ready and willing to help us” Pemamek’s extensive knowledge and experience in the wind energy sector, combined with customized solutions, is the main reason behind TEN’s initial investments.
PEMA Heavy-Duty (HD) series is designed for demanding welding automation purposes and enables high-quality production. © TEN
“In the wind energy sector, PEMA is a highly reliable partner. They have a lot of knowledge and they offer complete, modified solutions. With PEMA solutions, the amount of manual work in our manufacturing has decreased”, says Mr. Padula.
TEN has trusted in PEMA solutions since the company’s establishment. © TEN
PEMA Flange Fitting station has helped TEN to optimize the use of floor space and simplify production. © TEN
Mr. Padula describes the cooperation with Team PEMA as easy, fast and assertive, and especially acknowledges the ease of adapting PEMA solutions into TEN’s production. According to Padula, TEN has never faced any difficulties with the implementation of PEMA equipment, and the start-up time has always been fast and effortless. TEN takes pride in serving its customers with state-of-the-art equipment, meeting the requirements of safety and quality as well as the varying specifications of each customer project. For the modern and ambitious manufacturer of steel wind towers, close and reliable cooperation is irreplaceable. “We highly value our close cooperation with Pemamek. They help us during the implementation process, answer any questions regarding PEMA equipment that we may have, and we also have regular visits and phone calls. They have always been ready and willing to help - it is difficult to imagine how it would be like, to work without PEMA”, describes Mr. Padula.
PEMA solutions increase both productivity as well as safety-at-work. © TEN
Customer success stories
LONG-TERM CLIENT ESTANC RELIES ON PEMA SOLUTIONS Estanc, a family-owned company based in Estonia, is the biggest company in its field within the Baltics and Nordic countries. The company’s mission is to manufacture and provide products that help making the world a greener, more sustainable place to live. The cooperation with Pemamek started nearly ten years ago, back when Estanc started building its newest factory.
“In 2011 we started building our new factory, and that’s also when we first got in touch with Pemamek. We had heard positive things about PEMA solutions from other companies in our field, and our first order was PEMA Assembly station with integrated Column&Boom”, tells Tõnis Tuuder, Designer of Future Technologies with an extensive 19-year career at Estanc.
PEMA Assembly and welding station TW5000-80.
Founded in 1992, Estanc is a family-owned company operating in the process industry with an annual turnover of over 25 million euros. Estanc is a one-stop shop for its customers; from the planning and pre-design to manufacturing a
MAKE MORE - TOGETHER CHALLENGE
Estanc looks to decrease the amount of manual work and increase productivity.
PEMA Assembly and welding station TW5000-80 with integrated rollerbeds and PEMA HD 5x5 Column&Boom, and additional sets of PEMA rollerbeds and PEMA positioners.
Excellent welding quality, better productivity and profitability.
PEMA customer Estanc
wide selection of products including heat exchangers, pressure vessels and nonpressure tanks. The company’s mission is to produce innovative, environmentally friendly process equipment that makes our world a sustainable place for generations to come.
“PEMA solutions are crucial for us” The first delivery from Pemamek to Estanc included PEMA Assembly and welding station TW5000-80, a solution for manufacturing tubular and conical workpieces with high-quality. The solution was delivered with integrated PEMA HD 5x5 Column&Boom with operator seat feature and PEMA A80 rollerbeds, suitable for handling heavy workpieces with automatic adjustments.
CUSTOMER SEGMENT General fabrication
Since the first delivery, Pemamek has delivered few sets of additional PEMA rollerbeds (PEMA A80 Idler, PEMA A80 2D, PEMA A80 4D) to the Estonian-based company. “We manufacture a lot of pressure vessels, shells and tanks, and they need to be moved around a lot. That’s why PEMA rollerbeds for heavy workpieces are so crucial for us”, explains Tõnis Tuuder. The latest delivery in 2019 also included two PEMA positioners, PEMA APS 1500 and PEMA APS 3500. PEMA positioners enable lifting, rotating and tilting heavy and complex workpieces, ensuring an ideal ergonomic working positions for welders. According to Tuuder, PEMA solutions are essential for their manufacturing process; “Our manufacturing requires welding in various different positions. PEMA solutions guarantee easy rotation of workpieces as well as top welding quality.”
Estanc has invested in PEMA rollerbeds to guarantee easy rotation of workpieces and high-quality welding.
Pemamek has the knowledge to serve their customers with fitting solutions.” -Simo Eiert In the photo: Mika Nihti, Manager, Area sales from Pemamek (left) and Simo Eiert, Designer of Value Creation from Estanc (right).
High-quality welding and visible time savings Before, most of Estanc’s work was handwork. With PEMA solutions, the modern factory has started shifting from manual work towards more automatized production. “PEMA solutions have replaced a lot of manual work in our production. We aren’t doing as much manual work as we did before. Next step for us will be investing in a robotic welding solution”, tells Simo Eiert, Designer of Value Creation at Estanc. Both Eiert and Tuuder agree that automating some of the production processes has resulted in time savings and faster production. According to Tuuder, “Our production became significantly faster right away after the first PEMA deliveries. PEMA solutions save us a lot of manual working hours, which makes our manufacturing quicker – and also, guarantees an excellent welding quality.” PEMA Assembly and welding station can be managed by just one operator, which increases productivity and efficiency. When the solution is integrated with PEMA Column&Boom and rollerbeds, the operator can assemble and weld in the same station. “In some of our working zones, we can work four to five times faster now. That naturally brings a lot of benefits; we can manufacture more products and grow our business, get faster return on investment. But also, faster production means
Modern premises of Estanc.
PEMA HD 5x5 Column&Boom.
we can more efficiently take part in creating a more sustainable world. We want to make the world greener with our products”, explains Eiert.
Flourishing collaboration With an export rate of 97%, Estanc has delivered process equipment worldwide. The company provides its customers with top-notch products, and carefully considers its partners. Regular visits back and forth and ongoing communication enable trustworthy and successful collaboration. “Working with Pemamek is really a great cooperation – it’s like communicating with friends. 50 years of experience in their field means that PEMA experts have the knowledge to serve their customers with fitting solutions”, says Eiert. Both Eiert and Tuuder agree that implementing PEMA solutions into Estanc’s manufacturing processes has been effortless, as the solutions were specifically chosen and tailored to fit their production needs. “Adapting PEMA solutions into our production is always smooth, because they fit our needs. Pemamek doesn’t just have standard products, but also offer highly customized solutions. Their experts understand our processes and know, which PEMA solutions would be the most beneficial to us”, finishes Tuuder.
“THE STRENGTH OF PEMA SERVICE IS THE TEAM” Tuomas Elo, PEMA Service Director
When Tuomas Elo took over as the PEMA Service Director, he knew that while any new job has its challenges, this one would bring lot of opportunities as well. According to Elo, the strength of PEMA Service Team lies in their professionalism and experience, as well as understanding the customer processes. “Upon joining Team PEMA, I was naturally excited for new challenges. I knew that this situation would offer a lot of opportunities. Even though the work here varies from my previous experience, the basic frames around service and after sales work apply to any industry”, explains Tuomas Elo, Service Director of Pemamek. As Pemamek delivers products and solutions worldwide, the Service Team is also constantly on the move. Elo speaks very highly of PEMA Service Team, which consists of 15 personnel. “The strength of PEMA Service is the team. We have hard-working people with the right attitude and extensive experience. We also have a good understanding of the customer processes – we are not “just mechanics”. As we travel quite a bit, we have built a solid structure
to stay in touch consistently; from premeditated meetings to regular messages and calls.” While 50 years of business is a great acknowledgement, Pemamek is above all an innovative company with a future-oriented mindset – and this applies to PEMA Service Team as well. Elo and his team know that in order to reach the big goals, it is crucial to master the small details; “We have to keep doing the small things right in order to have a stable foundation for future goals. We want to improve our service level and maintain a close cooperation with our customers. We want service to be an essential, profitable part of business, and furthermore, we want to expand to new market areas and have PEMA service personnel around the world.”
QUICK FACTS about PEMA Service
Spent abroad yearly per expert
The average of service experience per expert
PEMA Service also provides remote support trough Robotics and PLC helpdesks
TEAMWORK AS THE THRIVING FORCE
As a part of our 50th anniversary year, we introduce one PEMA employee each week. Follow our social media to read more about Team PEMA.
Team spirit, cross-department collaborations, and long employee relationships have been the thriving forces of Pemamek’s success for decades. Some employees have worked at Pemamek even over 40 years. We interviewed a few of our long-term employees to hear what they value most at the 50-year-old company. Nina Rouhiainen
Service coordinator, 30 years at Pemamek
Milling machine operator, 13 years at Pemamek
Happy and bubbly Nina is one of the long-term employees. She’s been a part of the Team PEMA already for 30 years. One of the reasons why she initially applied to work at Pemamek was the company’s international nature.
Described as a loyal and good workmate, our milling machine operator Janne has been working at Pemamek for over 13 years. He is inspired by challenges and packed with creative skills.
“I would describe Pemamek as an international company that is always moving forward,” says Nina. During the past decades, Nina has seen the growth and development of the company and now wishes all the best for the future. “I want to say many congratulations to 50-year-old Pemamek: we have been successful throughout this half a century, so let’s continue the same way,” Nina summarizes.
Always smiling Nina is one of Pemamek’s long-term employees. She has been working at Pemamek for 30 years.
“This job is one of its kind. It offers a lot of challenges, and I like that. I am always up for a challenge. I am the same way in my free time – always visioning and creating something, I can’t stand still,” tells Janne. When asked how it is to work at Pemamek, above all Janne highlights collaboration. “It’s a good feeling to work here, both with other operators and also with our management. We have great cooperation. I’ve got so many memories from here,” Janne describes.
Initially, Janne started at Pemamek as a sub-contractor but soon became one of the trusted milling machiner operators. Now he has worked 13 years at Pemamek.
Stand out from competitors with
PEMA SOLUTIONS Pemamek Ltd., founded in 1970, is a global welding and production automation leader. The company designs and manufactures welding automation technology and integrated manufacturing solutions to a wide range of heavy metal industries. With the extensive 50-year experience in welding and production automation, Pemamek is dedicated to helping heavy fabrication industries to raise the level of productivity. PEMA solutions are based on the highly advanced robot and automation technologies that significantly increase throughput on heavy fabrication lines. In addition to the headquarters and factory, located in Finland, Pemamek has local sales offices in the USA, Brazil, Russia, and Poland.
PEMA Headquarters in Loimaa, Finland PEMA Sales Offices
Years of experience
Number of customer solutions
Countries with PEMA deliveries